You have already made the decision: You want to buy a property and take advantage of the magnificent prices that exist today. Undoubtedly, the purchase of your first home will fill you with illusion, but it is also one of the most important decisions of your financial and personal future.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), our home is the ideal place to establish our traditions, shape family values and shape our identity. In addition, ownership will bring benefits to you and your family, including sense of stability, security and belonging.
When you buy, try to be clear about the answers to these questions:
How do I prepare to buy?
If it is your first property, consulting experts could help. Throughout the Nation you will find licensed sales agents in real estate who know the laws and the market.
Hiring them is not a requirement for your purchase, and if you wish you can do it on your own, but it is important that you read material on the subject and you are advised before signing the purchase documents.
What does the buying process entail?
Identifying property to buy, and purchase requirements, are the first steps of the process. You will then enter into a contract between the seller and the buyer. First is an option where you indicate interest to buy and price.
Once the seller agrees, the contract is formalized, a deposit is usually requested and the loan origination, valuation and closing are continued. This is the last step of the purchase, and it is the moment you receive your keys to the new property. The time taken for the process varies depending on the type of purchase.
Am I eligible the requirements?
Your employment history, income and debts are key to determining if you can apply for a mortgage loan. In addition you must know how your credit history is and be ready to explain any alert or problem that appears in said history.
A good idea is to apply for a pre-qualification in a mortgage institution. These are usually free and offered instantly. You can also apply online.
Will I need a loan?
In the United States most property buyers apply for home loan, with the advantage that some require a minimum amount of money for the sooner or advance purchase.
There are several types of loans and part of the process of buying is to find the one that best fits your financial reality and ability to pay. But it is not a requirement, on the contrary, if you have enough capital to cover the cost of the property, you can buy in cash. That way you would save thousands of dollars in interest payments.
Where will I buy?
For many, the decision is simple: close to employment. However there are other considerations that you should take into account, for example, the children’s school or the proximity to hospitals, shopping malls and other places of interest.
Determine if you want a property in the city or further away in areas considered rural, will help you find the house of your dreams more quickly. You should analyze the advantages and disadvantages of each area, including the space offered by the home, price and amenities, as well as the ease of public transportation or road system to reach it.
What type of property is best for me?
If you want to have a patio, the best option is perhaps an independent house, although there are other properties that offer space for children to play, or so you can plant trees in your own garden.
This is the case of so-called “townhomes” or dwellings stuck together, usually two stories, but can be more than three or four. Some of them have a private “semi” patio. Another option to buy are the “condos” or apartments. Before you buy, evaluate what fits your lifestyle, your budget, and the needs of the family. Also ask about monthly maintenance payments, if any.
What are my obligations as a landlord?
In addition to the monthly mortgage payment, if you have purchased with a loan, you will have to pay the property taxes of the city where you live, and the maintenance, or the famous “HOA”, or “Homeowner Association” as it is known in English. This is usually monthly, but depending on the community, it could be every three or four months, and it is one of the biggest responsibilities the landlord gets.
You must also comply with the standards of your place of residence, as for yard or garden arrangement and exterior painting, cleaning of the surroundings, code of conduct and rent of the property, if you plan to do so.